Ian Sayers, chief executive of the Association of Investment Companies, has decided to step down later this year after 11 years in the role.
Sayers was appointed chief executive of the AIC in January 2010, having joined the association as technical director in November 1999.
He has agreed to stay in the role while the AIC searches for a new chief executive.
The AIC said it will make a further announcement later this year and it is expected that the role will be filled and the process completed by the end of 2021.
During his career at the AIC, Sayers campaigned for the abolition of commission on investment products which led to the Retail Distribution Review.
Since RDR was implemented in 2013, purchases of investment companies on adviser platforms have increased fivefold, the AIC stated.
He also spearheaded proposals for “reliable redemption” to avoid the problems that arise when daily-traded open-ended funds invest in illiquid assets, following the collapse of Woodford Equity Income last year.
Sayers said: “I have been involved with the sector for over 20 years now and believe investment companies are the best vehicle for delivering long-term capital growth and a reliable income.
“I have made many friends in the sector over this time, and most of all have been struck by how they share the same passion for investment companies and commitment to helping shareholders meet their financial goals.
“It will be difficult to leave, but I look forward to working with the Board to ensure a smooth transition to a new chief executive.”
Elisabeth Scott, chair of the AIC said: “Ian became Chief Executive after the financial crisis when the investment company industry faced sweeping changes to European regulation. Ian helped guide the sector through these regulatory threats.
“This allowed investment companies to thrive in the low interest rate environment which has persisted since then as investors have sought attractive returns and income opportunities from equities and alternative assets. During his tenure, industry assets have almost tripled from £85bn in 2010 to £237bn today.”
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